There are so many myths floating around these days about all things health-related, and dental health is no exception. In fact, to hear some of these myths, you’d think your teeth were ready to fall out of your mouth at any second. So how do you discern the myths from the facts? For instance, do kids really get a lot more cavities than adults? Will you always be able to feel a cavity? Do big gaps between your teeth ensure that you’ll have lots of cavities? And what about fillings? Should these last a lifetime, or will you always have to replace them? These are questions that deserve answers. As someone who wants to keep their teeth healthy and functioning properly for a lifetime, you need to know the difference between the myths and the facts floating around about a proper dental health routine. And family dentists have the following answers to those questions, in order to dispel the myths and get to the truth about oral health.
Children get a lot more cavities than adults
This used to be true. In fact, it was often the first question kids were asked when they got back from a dental checkup… “How many cavities did you have?” However, with the addition of fluoride to tap water, many of the children who’ve grown up in the past few decades have overcome that dreaded question. In fact, tooth decay in children has been reduced by nearly half in the past quarter of a century. It is true, though, that cavities in folks age 60 and over have increased. The reason for this is thought to be linked to dry mouth, a condition that often accompanies many of today’s medications. Saliva in the mouth helps to eliminate bacteria, which in turn helps to protect teeth and gums.
When you have a cavity, you can feel it
Not always so. In fact, if you have a cavity, you’re likely already at a point where the decay has begun to spread. So how do you avoid bigger problems from cavities? Simple. You go to your dentist for a checkup twice a year. A family dentist often will be able to see changes occurring in your mouth long before you can feel them.
Big gaps between teeth lead to cavities
Also not so. In fact, big gaps in between teeth often make it easier to clean between teeth. It’s the smaller gaps that should be watched extra closely, as these make it easier for food to get lodged in between teeth, and that means bacteria are building up, causing problems that you may not even know about until it’s too late.
Every filling will need to be replaced eventually
The fact is that most fillings, especially those crafted from some of today’s more long-lasting substances, are made and expected to last a lifetime. Though this isn’t always the case, the truth is that oftentimes when folks lose a filling, it’s due to something other than the life expectancy of their fillings, such as a poor oral hygiene routine or trauma caused by an injury such as a car accident or playing sports.
Tooth and gum sensitivity means you have a cavity
Not always the case. Though tooth and/or gum sensitivity may be a result of a cavity, it may also be the result of receding gums, exposed roots, or a number of other causes. If you find your mouth is more sensitive than it used to be, consider moving your next dental checkup closer so you can let your dentist know as soon as possible.
In today’s world of information, it’s often difficult to discern the truth from myth. Depending on where you get your information and news, you could be bombarded day and night with incorrect or even harmful information from television, Internet, friends, family, co-workers… the list is endless. And that is precisely why it’s vital to get your information about your dental health straight from your dentist. Family dentists are a wealth of information when it comes to the health of your teeth, gums, and all the surrounding structures of your mouth. So, for the final word about what’s best for your mouth’s health, talk to a family dentist in your area. In fact, most dentists prefer that you make a list of all your questions and take it with you. This way, you can get the answers to your dental health questions straight from your family dentist, making the good health of your teeth and gums an almost foregone conclusion.